We made it to Robben Island this morning with the 9:00 ferry. There were large swells in Table Bay, but no one got seasick, thankfully. The ferry ride was about 45 minutes (one-way), then there was a 35-minute bus tour of the island, and finally a 45-minute walking tour led by a former political prisoner from Robben Island.
We learned quite a bit, though we agreed much more was left unsaid. We saw the leper graveyard (Robben Island has been used for banishment of many kinds since the 1600s), and the limestone quarry where hard labor punishment was carried out. The pile of rocks was placed there by former inmates, including Mandela, in February of 1995, one year after their release. We saw the dog kennels that housed German Shepherds in bigger quarters than those in singe cells, like Mandela and other political leaders who spoke out against apartheid.
We learned how living conditions were very hard, including how everything, down to food portions, was divided along racial lines. We saw Nelson Mandela’s cell. It was hard to imagine real life there, now that it is a World Heritage Site, but I’m glad we have the opportunity to ponder it.
Quite a few pictures are below…too many to fully describe with limited wifi time. You’ll just have to ask one of us to tell you more when we’re back home.
3 thoughts on “Robben Island at last”
Erin’s latest post and pics [about Robben Island where Mandela and other political prisoners were sentenced] http://wp.me/p2kEBR-5s
So glad you can keep us updated as you journey through these weeks a world away from home. It all sounds fascinating and valuable……Love, Dawn
Good evening to your good morning (at least I hope you see this shortly after you wake up / I go to bed).
I am so glad that you all got to go to the Island. Must have been quite a sobering experience for everyone, really bringing to life a good portion of the lectures. So keep up the good work and we’ll be hoping and praying that everyone stays healthy and discovers what they’re meant to discover along the way.
PS – check your Facebook account as for some reason comments there aren’t being pulled into this story like they should. Wish you had a better tech support hubby…it should be working and I can’t figure out why it isn’t.